Systems practice

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 249–264 | Cite as

Embodiments of organizational fitness: The Viable System Model (VSM) as a guide

  • Markus Schwaninger


Managers are facing new problems in their quest for organizational fitness. With environments of growing complexity, foresight, adaptability, and learning become critical features for a social system to survive and develop. Established models of organizational control are insufficient to cope with this proliferating complexity. The science of cybernetics provides powerful models to master this key challenge to management. The present article offers a synthesis of Beer's Viable System Model (VSM) and a multilevel concept of organizational fitness, based on recent progress made in the field of planning theory.

Key words

organizational effectiveness Viable System Model (VSM) planning theory control systems 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Schwaninger
    • 1
  1. 1.St. Gall Graduate School of EconomicsLaw, Business and Public AdministrationSt. GallenSwitzerland

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